The Rotary of Club of Essex (Canada, District 6400) is recruiting volunteers to help dig wells, rebuild a school and hand out mosquito nets during an upcoming humanitarian mission to Ghana.
“To know you have an ability to have that transformational impact on a community, it’s really amazing,” trip organiser Kim Spirou said on Friday.
“Once you go and you see how other people live, and the poverty and the suffering of their daily struggle to survive, it’s amazing to know that you can alleviate suffering and make a difference to someone. It’s very empowering.”
Spirou is looking for 15 people. You don’t have to be a Rotarian to join the team.
The mission will be in mid-November. It’s a two-week trip but some members opt to go for half that time.
Spirou said the trip will cost about $2,000 per person for flight and accommodations. Volunteers pay their own way.
The projects this year include drilling fresh water wells and rebuilding a damaged school from the ground up.
“A lot of the buildings are crumbling,” said Spirou.
“They were built 50, 60, 70 years ago. Roofs are caved in. So we take a building and basically redo it.”
Along with fixing the school, Rotary will hand out backpacks, uniforms and textbooks to 500 school children.
Spirou said volunteers will also distribute 1,000 mosquito nets to help prevent the spread of malaria, which is the No 1 cause of death in Africa.
She is also looking to recruit some medical professionals.
A dentist is coming this year, but Spirou hopes to find an optometrist to provide eyeglass clinics.
“It’s pretty amazing what we can do,” said Spirou.
“When we put our energies and our focus together, we accomplish great things.”
This will be Spirou’s fourth humanitarian trip to Ghana.
Last year the volunteers drilled four water wells, giving thousands of people clean water.
They built a school for 600 children and outfitted it with desks and white boards.
Every child also received a backpack filled with school supplies, clothing, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
The team built a sanitation facility with sinks, flush toilets and showers.
A lack of such facilities causes the spread of E coli, she said.
“The opportunity to go to an impoverished, developing country like Ghana and provide people with access to clean water, to education, to give them sanitation, it changes their lives,” said Spirou.
“That’s a generational gift, when you give clean water. Those last for generations.”
If you can’t make the trip to Ghana, you can still help. Organisers are holding a fish fry and barbecue to raise money for the trip.
The event is slated for July 21 from 4 to 8 pm at Lakewood Park, 13451 Riverside Dr E, at Manning Road. Tickets are $25 each. There is also a cash bar.
Source: Windsor Star